How To Make Perfume From Flowers
Discovering and deciding on your signature scent is an intimate and personal experience. When you are searching for the right fragrance, it can feel like a quest for a perfect match made in heaven, where everything just totally fits. Wearing perfume is a total sensory experience, especially for the wearer, as perfume derived from oils has a super silky and luxurious feel on the skin.
Creating a personally-made perfume is the ultimate thoughtful gift, whether that be a treat for yourself or a loved one. You can take your mom’s favorite floral scents and build an amazing and touching present any mother will absolutely love. Adding fresh flower petals to your perfume product adds levels of depth, earthiness, romance, and fun.
Perfume oils are made without alcohol, which is why it has this effect on the skin. The oil takes longer to evaporate than a traditionally manufactured alcohol-based perfume. The smooth velvety texture deepens throughout the day as the perfume oil absorbs into the skin.
Perfume oils are created from natural, plant-derived essences. This is why they have such a highly concentrated smell. Perfume oils are also free of synthetic preservatives, making them a natural product to enjoy. You do not have to be a fragrance expert or a science lab chemist to concoct the perfect perfume for you. All you need are a few easily attainable supplies, a sprinkle of imagination, a dash of grandeur, and a little bit of time.
Understanding The Structure Of A Perfume Fragrance
Before you concoct your perfume elixir, it is helpful to first take some time to understand the scent structure and build of a perfume fragrance. Perfumes are a blend of multiple scents and notes, building upon each other to create a nuanced and layered scent experience.
There are three different levels within a perfume fragrance. Although there are no set rules when it comes to perfume building, this is a helpful breakdown of the structure of a scent:
- Top / Head Notes (15 minutes of scent dominance)
- Middle / Heart Notes (15—45 minutes of scent dominance)
- Base Notes (hours of scent dominance)
When smelling a perfume, your sense of smell will process the head notes, then the heart notes, and then the base notes. This means that production begins in the opposite order, starting with the base note and then building up to the head note.
The base note is typically a heavier, warmer scent. Common scents in this category are vanilla, cedarwood, frankincense, and sandalwood. The middle note will usually be a floral note. Common flowers used for homemade perfume are rose, lavender, honeysuckle, jasmine, violet, peony, and gardenias. The top note, or head note, is the uplifting fragrance that first captures attention. This can be orange notes, grapefruit, or bergamot.
Choose one or two scents from each of the three categories and combine until you end up with a fragrance that speaks to you personally. Do not be afraid of making the wrong decision—this is a completely subjective art form, and whatever smells right to you is the right choice for you. Follow your nose and trust your instinct.
How you ultimately blend your scents is totally up to you, but keeping these guidelines in mind will help you achieve the end result you are seeking. Citrus notes are commonly used head notes because their presence is assertive and bold. Florals, light and airy, capture the pure heartedness of the heart note. Woodsy scents are the ideal base note, both long-lasting and comforting. The potential combinations are limitless.
When it comes to floral scents, anyone that has ever sat next to someone with an overpowering perfume will be the first to tell you that less is more. Choose a dominant floral scent and build out around it, treating the head and base notes as complementing factors
Using Water For Making Your Own Perfume
While some homemade perfume oils utilize alcohol as an emulsifier, it is entirely possible to create a lovely fragrance without it as the main ingredient. Homemade perfume recipes that use water need to be used pretty quickly, as they do not have the same preservatives as a commercially manufactured perfume. Homemade water-based perfume can be stored for up to one month.
A natural perfume is a scent without any of the synthetic or artificial aromas that are typically used in a commercial perfumery. The synthetic perfumes cannot quite capture the subtle nuances that occur when greenery awakens the senses.
Creating Your Own Perfume
Making your own perfume from flowers is easier than you might first think.
Choose Your Ingredients
First, choose the plants you would like to use for your custom fragrance. This can be anything your nose is drawn to, from citrus blossoms and leaves, rose petals, mint, or rosemary. Collect your plant materials whenever its scent seems the strongest and the leaves are not wet yet. You can collect from either your own backyard if you are a gardener, or check out the floral section in a health food store or farmer’s market.
Make sure to only use organic blooms because your final perfume will be something you will be spraying on your skin. Finding flowers that are local to your area is a great way to repurpose materials available in your community.
Dry Out The Blooms
Next, you will want to dry out your plant goods, which means airing them until they are limp. This is a process that is also known as the clover drying method. This reduces the water content, which will help your perfume smell more concentrated.
Soak the Flowers
Measure out a square foot of either fiberglass netting or cheesecloth. You want to use a material that is a flexible and malleable filtration system. Take a clean mason jar or empty bowl and place your cheesecloth inside, taking care to make sure the four corners are hanging outside of the bowl.
Next, you will drop your whole petals or leaves inside on top of the cloth. Pour just enough water to cover the top of the petals. Cover with a lid. Wait, allowing the mixture to rest and soak overnight.
Remove the Solids
The next day, remove the lid and gently combine the four corners of the cheesecloth. Lift the pouch out of the bowl with the water and petals still inside. After that, you will then strain by gently squeezing the cheesecloth over a small saucepan. This will release the flower-scented water.
Reduce Your Perfume
Turn on the stovetop and simmer the flower water over low heat until you have about one teaspoon of liquid remaining. Allow the liquid to cool, and then bottle into either a rollerball container or a miniature spray bottle. Perfume made from flower petals will generally last up to one month when stored in a cool and dark place.
Considering Essential Oils
Some perfume tinctures can contain anywhere from six to twenty different scents. This is a highly concentrated fragrant substance that is completely free from synthetic preservatives. It is important to research the effect of your ingredients because essential oils can be potentially irritating if used incorrectly. Stick to the ratios found in your recipe of choice, and they will guide you through the process. If you have sensitive skin or prefer to err on the side of caution, you might want to use a lower concentration of oils.
Transfer Your Perfume to Another Container
Once you have built out your scent, you can use a pipette or dropper to transfer the perfume oil to either a rollerball bottle or a small spray container. You can then decorate your bottle and name your perfume however you choose!
The sense of smell is right next to the brain’s memory center, so sending a small bottle of a custom scent to a long-distance love is a great way to invoke a trip down memory lane. If you find mixing your own perfume oils to be a relaxing project, it could also be a great present for your bridal party as the ultimate personal token of thanks.
Applying Your Fragrance
There are a few different effective methods to try when it comes to applying perfume. Popular application spots are a dab behind the ears, on the clavicle, or the classic spritz and walk through. One spot to avoid application is the wrists because the increased blood flow on that spot will cause the scent to evaporate faster than might be desired.
Taking the time to create your own personal perfume, whether for yourself or someone special, is a wonderful act of care and love. Making a natural perfume oil means creating a substance with both staying power and scent complexity that completely holds its own against mass-produced factory-manufactured perfume products. The nuance of the scent-building process speaks for itself.